The Moose, The Hall And The 100 Plus Club

FACT: No major league pitcher at least 100 games over .500 in his career has ever failed to make the Hall of Fame.

All 18 eligible starters who fit this profile are in — including six who pitched the majority of their careers in the 19th Century. There are a dozen 300-game winners on the list.

The 100 Plus Club list is dotted with the usual suspects — Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Pete Alexander, Warren Spahn, Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer and Bob Feller, just to name a few. Young is the only pitcher close to 200 plus in the won-loss category: he finished his career with a record 511 wins and 316 losses.

Whitey Ford has the best overall winning percentage amongst members of the elite club — 236-106 for .690. Lefty Grove is right behind at .680 (300-141), followed by 19th Century hurler John Clarkson at .649 (327-177).

No Koufax, Ryan, Gibson

Then there are those who didn’t make it, immortals like Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean, Carl Hubbell and Rube Waddell.

The 100 Plus Club is due to get some company soon. Recently retired enigma Roger Clemens has a 354-184 record, a .658 winning percentage. He also has a steroid-tarnished resume which may or may not hinder his Hall of Fame chances. Then again, his seven Cy Youngs can only help his cause.

There are five active pitchers with 100 plus stat lines. Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are 300-game winners, and Randy Johnson is just 11 wins away, at 289. Pedro Martinez is 212-95, a point ahead of Ford’s .690 all-time winning percentage.

All four are pretty much considered to be Hall of Fame locks, with 14 Cy Young awards amongst them (Johnson 5, Maddux 4, Martinez 3 and Glavine 2).

And then there’s Mike Mussina, shown above, a man whose career has been full of almosts and near-misses. Mussina has never won a Cy Young award. He has never won 20 games in a single season, never won an ERA or strikeout title, never won a World Series.

Close Calls

Mussina came to the Yankees the year after they won four World Series in five years. He came within one strike of pitching a perfect game against the Red Sox in Fenway Park in 2001. He’s always left at the altar.

The Moose has won 19 games twice and 18 twice. He’s had 17 straight years of 10 or more wins, an American League record. He’s had only two losing seasons in 18 years.

Overall Mussina is 261-150, a .639 winning percentage. But is that good enough?

Hall of Fame candidates are typically voted in for reaching certain milestones, like 300 wins, 3,000 hits, or 500 home runs. Perhaps consistency should count for something as well.

Only time will tell.


5 Comments on “The Moose, The Hall And The 100 Plus Club”

  1. […] On top of his post-season pedigree, Pettitte has a 240-138 record, and no pitcher with a career record 100 games over .500 has ever been denied entry into Cooperstown. A two-time 20-game winner, Pettitte has never finished […]

  2. Wins are not how you judge pitchers. Andy Pettitte and his high WHIP and high ERA (among HOF’s) prove that. In his 16 seasons Andy played on teams that were a combined 456 games over average of 28.5 games a season. Andy averaged 6.4 games above .500 a season..which is at a 22 percent clip..meaning he was pretty average on great teams. In comparison, guys like Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez are above 50 percent meaning they had to go above and beyond to win games on less than stellar teams which is why their career ERA and WHIP are so much lower than a guy like Pettitte

    • SportsLifer says:

      Agreed, but wins are important. Obviously on a better team, a player would tend to have more wins, more RBIs etc. And you can’t discount Pettitte’s playoff performances.

  3. jim burrell says:

    only one “Moose” in Yankee lore……and it ain’t Mussina

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